Preparing for the Worst: Attention is Enhanced Prior to Any Upcoming Emotional or Neutral Stimulus

نتاج البحث: نشر في مجلةمقالةمراجعة النظراء


Do people allocate more or fewer attentional resources when preparing for negative emotional visual stimuli to appear? In three experiments (total N = 150), participants performed a change-detection task while expecting a neutral, threatening, disgusting, or joyful stimulus or no stimulus to appear at a fixed moment. Responses to an infrequent dot probe were faster when participants were expecting a distracting stimulus. Importantly, although only negative stimuli impaired change-detection performance, there was no difference between the preparation effect for threatening and neutral stimuli (Experiment 1) or disgusting and joyful stimuli (Experiment 3). The preparation effects were also unaffected by the participant’s anxiety level. Experiment 2 confirmed that the threatening images affected performance when the dot probe appeared after the image. These results suggest that the visual system increases alertness in response to any upcoming stimulus and further imply that the effects of emotional stimuli largely occur after, but not before, the stimuli appear.

اللغة الأصليةالإنجليزيّة
الصفحات (من إلى)256-266
عدد الصفحات11
دوريةPsychological Science
مستوى الصوت32
رقم الإصدار2
المعرِّفات الرقمية للأشياء
حالة النشرنُشِر - فبراير 2021

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